Alonzo had a garden plot at the center and was enjoying the bounty of the harvest one sunset. He thought it would be fun to share the food with other members of the center and create a fundraiser at the same time. Along with Donna Fernandez, Alice Crawford, Helen Heinz and other volunteers at the center they established an activity for sharing a light meal and gardening tips.
Initially the meals they shared were chili and cornbread or taco salads. The kitchen at the center is fashioned with a roll up window making it easy to pass the prepared fixings to the hungry guests. Attendance was typically the garden folks and a handful of active members that were around enjoying other activities. Once Hedy Mowrey got involved and introduced board games after the meal the number of attendees grew rapidly and so did the chef’s aspirations. Of all the games, Mexican Train Dominos is the most popular, but there are many others that stay for their own favorites.
Mowrey took over the expansion to a full meal on a weekly basis along with Jim Bowman, a form member who was also President of the Board. Jim and others served as “Guest Chefs” with great enthusiasm and diverse culinary temptations.
Soon the number of weekly tabletops increased as the word got out to other members and their guests. A salad bar and dessert table evolved rapidly adding to the variety of delicious temptations.
Currently, Jerry Shevenell, a retired Navy cook, who graciously credits his mother for his inspiration, is the dominant chef with the help of numerous volunteers. Grey Bears provides a bounty of food donations and musicians take to the stage providing easy listening music and dance melodies
What more could any of us ask for? Well Mowrey thought of more and offered a collection of board games for after dinner social time which became a bit hit for family groups and singles — especially the Mexican Train Dominos and live music added to the social delights of the growing crowd of attendees.
Mid-County Senior Center Board President Linda Minton thinks the crew that keeps this bright idea shining deserves a big round of applause! Indeed, every Tuesday Night Live gathering you will not only hear clapping and kudos for the wonderful food service but the sound of foot stomping and feet shuffling to the music that calls out from the stage.
Local musicians take turns providing entertainment on a regular basis. Performances include All Shook Up, Tin Pan Alley Cats, Roar & Shack as well as visiting guests, which recently included a talented Elvis impersonator complete with sideburns.
The menu is published in the Mid-County Senior Center’s newsletter, which gives a great overview of all the programs and events happening each month. Membership to the center is a meager annual dues of $40.00 and entitles you to activity discounts, a vote during annual elections and receipt of the newsletter by mail. Additionally a discount on the renting our facility for your own special events. Seniors 90 and over are invited to join at no charge and attend the 90’s Club meeting on the 2nd Friday of each month.